Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"Sunday Song" Lyrics: Faith is Living by John Waller

I know.  It's Tuesday. But this song really hit home with me, and it's definitely a "Sunday Song." So bear with me please.

The Album:
While I'm WaitingJohn Waller: CD Cover

The Lyrics:
I wish I could see just three steps in front of me
But the lamp unto my feet it only moves when I take a step
And believe Your word to me Lord You have a history
That proves You're worthy of my faith

It's the evidence of things I cannot see
And faith it's the confidence that You are holding me
It's stepping out it's breaking through all my doubts
And all I thought I knew 'cause you've never lived until you've lived
You've never lived until you've lived by faith

Click here to read the rest of this wonderful song.
Click here for a video of John Waller singing it.

Andrea's Take:
Why this song? Why today?

Have you ever put your money in the offering plate and watched it progress down the aisle, all the while thinking of the myriad other things you might do with that money? I'm ashamed to admit I had just such an experience this past Sunday.

You see, things are tight at our house. We've had some unexpected and bigger-than-expected expenses lately. It's nothing more than anyone else is experiencing, I'm sure. But it got to me a little over the last weekend.

So as I watched the man walk away with my check in the little basket, I said a silent prayer, something to the effect of, "Lord, you'll have to take care of it."

It was a pretty flat prayer, like I was approaching the throne of grace with resignation rather than boldness.

This morning my husband tossed a slip of paper at me.

"Whoa! What's this?" I asked as I unfolded the slip of paper. I looked at it and declared it to be "a blessing from Heaven." It was an "extra duty" check for things like mileage and bus driving that he does for the small school district where he teaches.

The amount was 60 cents more than our electric bill.

(I really want to put that sentence in super-sized letters...I think I will).

The amount was 60 cents more than our electric bill.

Okay, so what's that got to do with the song? These lines:

I wish I could see just three steps in front of me
But the lamp unto my feet it only moves when I take a step

I'm like that. I want to know how it's going to work out. And I want to know now. But that wouldn't be faith.

First, God will "take care of it." Every single time. The Bible says God loves a cheerful giver. That's true. But he also blesses an obedient one whether she's cheerful or not.  He promises if we obey "I will be your God and you will be my people."  As the song says, "You have a history..." But it's not just history. It's the here and now. It's tomorrow. Every time, every day.

Second, God blesses our sacrifices. In this, I don't refer to the money I placed in the offering. That was simple obedience. Shamefully grudging obedience at that. I refer to the sacrifice made by my husband who put in extra time and effort to earn that money. I am convicted of all the times I've griped under my breath - or at the top of my lungs - about missing him and wanting him home.  God blessed every second of that time, using it to meet a need we never even realized we would have.

Another song lyric says it very well too. "Our God is and awesome God!"

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What I Read Wednesday: A Passion Redeemed by Julie Lessman

Cover ImageI confess to you that I read this book months ago and am only now getting the review written...and late in the day at that. Please forgive my tardiness and enjoy the book review.

From The Cover:
No man can resist her charms. Or so she thought.

Charity O'Connor is a woman who gets what she wants. Her stunning beauty and flirtatious ways have always succeeded with men. Until Mitch Dennehy, that is. Brilliant and dangerously handsome, Mitch is a no-nonsense newspaperman who wants nothing to do with her. Charity burned him once, destroying his engagement to the only woman he ever truly loved. He won't play with matches again. But Charity has a plan to turn up the heat, hoping to ignite the heart of the man she loves. And she always gets what she wants--one way or another.

Or does she? Will her best-laid schemes win his love? Or will her seductive ways drive him away forever?

Book 2 in the Daughters of Boston series, A Passion Redeemed will captivate your heart and stir your soul with a story of faith and redemption rising from the ashes of temptation, desire, and shame.

Andrea’s Take:
The title of this book might well have been “A Woman Redeemed,” for that is one of the major events in the story.  Charity O’Connor, no longer simply a spiteful, vengeful, and jealous younger sister, becomes real in A Passion Redeemed.

We find that she is fiercely loyal and deeply loving (qualities I feared at one time she lacked completely). We follow her on a journey into her past that is both tragic and liberating. It is a journey that teaches her (and us) the root of the jealousy and insecurity that plague her in A Passion Most Pure.

Through all of this, Charity tries again and again to redeem herself. Some of her schemes make me want to lecture her. Others make me want to shout at her.  But she is teachable.  With every failed scheme, she gets closer and closer to the Truth of Christ and what He offers.  When, finally, she reaches her lowest point, she knows without a doubt where to turn for refuge. It is surely enough to soften all but the hardest of hearts (and maybe even them).

Charity in A Passion Most Pure I would gladly have slapped had she been my sister. That same character in A Passion Redeemed, made my heart cry out with sadness at the hand life had dealt her. Julie Lessman is a masterful story teller to have created a character and story that evoke such a wide range of emotions.

Mitch, Faith’s well-loved fiance from A Passion Most Pure (sadly for him, not quite so well-loved as Collin), learned his lesson once with Charity. He means to have nothing more to do with her. Ever. But he simply cannot stay away.  Ultimately, he must face demons from his own past while helping Charity deal with hers. 

I think it’s not too much of a spoiler to say that both find their own answers. They learn that love is so much sweeter when we wait on God's timing.

I quipped about the title in my opening line, but in reality I think A Passion Redeemed is the perfect title for this book. Charity is a passionate woman. There is nothing wrong with being a passionate person. However, throughout both books, Charity often allows that passion to lead her astray. When she places that passion in God’s hands, He does indeed redeem it. He turns it into something pure and wonderful that she can use to glorify His name.